Development of the Plan

The Framework Agreement for the Sava River Basin (FASRB), whose implementation has been coordinated by the International Sava River Basin Commission (ISRBC), generally provides the legal basis for cooperation of the countries on management of the waters of the Sava River Basin in a sustainable manner, which includes integrated management of surface and ground water resources.

The most important and challenging joint effort of the Parties towards sustainable water management has been the preparation of an integrated Sava River Basin Management Plan (RBMP), as provided for in Article 12 of the FASRB.

The activities on the preparation of the Sava RBMP started at the end of 2006, as soon as the Permanent Expert Group for River Basin Management was established.

As the first step in the development of the Sava RBMP, the Sava River Basin Analysis has been undertaken. This effort finally resulted in the Sava River Basin Analysis Report. The Report is a comprehensive document. In addition to the characterization and assessment of water resources in the Sava River Basin, provided in accordance with Article 5 of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), the water quantity and integration issues are addressed, as well, through an additional consideration of the important issues, such as flood management and navigation development in the Basin.

The Sava River Basin Analysis Report was accepted by the ISRBC in September 2009, “as a good basis for further activities on the development of the Sava RBM Plan”. The Report has been published and also made available in the electronic form, on the official web site of the ISRBC. To download the Report, click here.

The commitment of the Parties to respecting the EU WFD, although not all of them are legally bound to do so, as well as a good cooperation of the Parties in development of the Sava River Basin Analysis, have granted a positive perception of the European Commission (EC), which resulted in a decision of the EC to provide support for remaining steps in developing the first Sava RBMP.

Accordingly, the 2-year support was activated in December 2009, through the technical assistance project and a direct grant to the ISRBC. The technical assistance had been executed by a consortium, led by VVMZ, from the Slovak Republic.

The main purpose of this assistance was to provide support to the ISRBC, the Parties (BA, HR, RS and SI), as well as to Montenegro, in preparing and starting to implement an integrated Sava RBMP. This huge effort has resulted in drafting the Sava RBMP and all related products in December 2011,  ready for public consultation. The online public consultation ran from 21 December 2011 until 21 April 2012.

The Plan was upgraded based on justified comments and the full-fledged Sava RBMP, in English and all official languages of the Sava countries, was submitted to the ISRBC in September 2012 for review. In the period thereafter, certain requests for additional corrections in the Plan were submitted by the countries, through the ISRBC. The agreed changes were implemented in the final draft Sava RBMP, which was submitted to the countries in March 2013, for their national procedures of the Plan adoption.

The Parties to the FASRB approved this Plan at their Fifth Meeting held in Zagreb (Republic of Croatia) on December 2, 2014.